The Ten Commandments Series - 9th Commandment

Exodus20:16
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (NIV)

As believers, we should take the same care and precaution with other's reputations as we do our own. Have you ever been in a situation where someone told you something that was shockingly negative or derogatory about someone else and then you later found out it wasn't true? If so, I hope you didn't jump on the gossip train in that instance. If we are completely honest with ourselves though,  I'm sure we could think of a time when we took the information given about someone as factual, sent it on down the line to someone else, adding our own "did you hear?" or "you're not gonna believe this", only to find out later that what we heard wasn't true to begin with. As followers of Christ,  it is important that we refrain from participating in this sort of thing; we were giving a false testimony!

The law called for the testimony of 2 witnesses in order for a person to be convicted of a crime. In those days, the word of a witness carried a huge amount of weight and authority. If 2 people came forward and testified that you did something illegal,  then you did it! If 2 or more people with evil motives collaborated against someone,  their false testimony could ruin the life of an innocent person. In fact,  that could still happen in a court of law in today's culture. Think of the damage that could be done. Could you imagine if 2 people that didn't like you decided to get together and come up with a lie to use against you and you ended up in the slammer? That would be awful,  but it happens in court rooms in the U.S. all the time.

As Christians,  we are called to edify, to use our words to build people up. We have to learn to recognize gossip,  slander, and lies and put an immediate stop to it. "If it isn't about glorifying God or edifying His people,  then I don't want to hear it" is what we sometimes have to tell people. Some folks thrive on spreading gossip and lies. We are here to bring glory to God and to advance His Kingdom on earth. With the time and effort it takes to give a false testimony about someone, let's give a true testimony about what the Lord has done instead. God bless you.
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